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Adam Grossman

Do You Use Drum Maps?

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So I have used Drum Maps for years and years and today I am thinking of not using them anymore.  They seem to be more of a hassle than they are worth.   For example..moving certain parts around are pain in the ass since you can't use the track pane view (say you only want to move the percussion parts to another part of the song, you must lasso them in PRV to move them).

I am also starting to think it might just be easier to have each drum part on a different track (same as if I was recording a real drummer with mics).

What exactly is the benefit of drum maps and do you use them for MIDI drums?

 

 

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The main benefit for drum maps is to be able to easily switch from one drums VSTi to another, where both have completely different note mappings (e.g. the snare is D1 on one VSTi, but it's G3 on another).

Having each drum part on a different MIDI track doesn't really solve this problem (you'd still need to transpose the note to trigger the correct drum), however what it does do is allow you to mix and match different drum VSTi's if, for example, you prefer an AD2 snare and a EZDrummer kick.

However even if you do stick to all your drums on just one MIDI track/VSTi, most good drum VSTi's support separate audio outs for each drum (or drum group, like cymbals or toms). If you freeze the VSTi, you'll end up with separate audio tracks just like you've recorded real drums.

 

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For what it's worth, I never use drum maps and have survived the world.  I use to put the parts on different tracks, but the way PRV works these days that is not even necessary.  In fact it is better because you can see how all the parts of the drum kit interact at once.  You can pretty much lasso any parts and edit them in mass.  It gets a little sticky when trying to edit a kick and not snare and vise versa cause they sit so close to each other on the PRV...or any sounds that are close together. But the world is OK without drum maps and putting drum parts on different tracks. 

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It's worth mentioning, I don't actually use drum maps myself.

I've got a bunch of CAL scripts to do it for me from back when drum maps didn't exist!

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I never used drum maps because I don't understand them. partly because I suppose I don't see what problem the drum map fixes.

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Well, the great thing about maps is that you can have custom templates for inputs and outputs from different source or form feeds to specific outputs.

In my case, I use mostly BFD for drums. BFD1 has different layouts and fewer drum pieces than BFD2. Not only that, through the years I've tried many input methods, for example, drums fron scratch through mouse&keyboard with arbitrary keys for i/o, then some were GM drums, and then V-Drums. All of them had different inputs and outpus, which, through maps I could easily switch and even have campatibily between all of them. I find them as a key feature really. Also, having the names of the piece kits, and arrange them in any form is really handy. Great feature

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By usig drum map it's funny to change some beat, maybe some HiHat becomes snare or you can delete some HiHats beats or adjust your choice of toms  or delete some cymbals or add some cymbal. I think that with drum map you can be very creative.

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Nope. I went from being a drummer, to loops, to drum sampled midi grooves, ala kontakt sampler. I do assign each drum to a separate track for control. Never used maps though.

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Always use them here, both in Cakewalk/Sonar and now in Studio One since they added the feature in v4 (was in v3 but weak compared to Cakewalk).

I did a video years ago that is still on my personal website to show what they are good for and why to use them.  A few callout benefits to me are:

1. Seeing your kit parts grouped together (snares, cymbals, etc)

2. NOT seeing a bunch of blank space where there doesn't need to be any (notes that have no data recorded to them don't need to be shown)

3. Being able to put the mapped notes in any order for simplicity of viewing rather than based on the order they appear in the note list

4. Being able to easily see the relationships between sections of a song, similar to #1 above.

5. Being able to split the midi notes out to different parts on different instruments - like snare to Addictive drums and other kit pieces to hardware, like Vdrums.

6. Knowing that your recorded midi is always going to look the same, regardless of where you are going to port those notes.

And others.  Can you tell I like them? 

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 I use step sequencer, and having the names displayed is really handy for working with different articulations, having all 12 hats available  together for example.

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Not only do I use them for EZD and Superior, I also have a Trilian map. That way all notes and key switches are on screen and labeled. I don’t have to “think” when I want to “slide” a note. 

T

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I recall that I found drum maps a bit awkward to deal with the first time I used them, but I was glad that I persisted. I would hate not to have drum maps now. I use them in almost every project.

However I do believe that there is room for improvement in the drum map GUI. I would prefer to do less typing and more mouse clicking. There have been several feature requests on this issue over the years.

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On 2/20/2019 at 5:24 AM, Adam Grossman said:

What exactly is the benefit of drum maps and do you use them for MIDI drums?

Oh good lord this is another one of those topics I knew was going to be embarrassing, because other people's answers only serve to illustrate for me how much I have yet to learn about this very deep program.

I use them because as far as I know, that's how you get the names of the drums to show up in the Piano Roll.🤷‍♂️

I also get that you can use them for some kind of rejiggering in case the note mapping doesn't conform to the usual GM Ch. 10-ish kick-click-snare-etc.

At least I hope that they're good for more than just getting the names of the drums to show up because it's sure a lot of trouble to go through just for that. It made me feel as if the software were making me do something that it should have already had ready to go. 😒 (which it now does, in the form of templates that I put together to save myself the flailing)

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Blades' post above nicely lists all that is good about drum maps. Myself, I use Addictive Drums 2 and make my own maps using the standard AD2 map as a starting point.  Generally what I do is use the mouse to pull all the things I want to use in a particular song down to the bottom of the map.  Typically, the kick at the very bottom, snare and hat above that, then toms 1 thru 4 (both  rim-shot and open versions), then cymbals &  other percussion. I find that having the real name of the instrument at the left is extremely helpful.  There's two disadvantages of using drum amps, though:

  1. You can't edit 'drum map' midi and other midi in the same window.  (I can't imagine how it would work anyway).
  2. Once you assign a midi track to a drum map you can't make a single drum "instrument track" linked with the drum audio track. It was always that way in SONAR and still is in Cakewalk. I'd love to see that fixed some day but I've learned to live with it and it's not exactly a big problem.  Having the drum map is still worth it to me. (Admission, I am a drummer).

Edit: I stand correct on my point 2 above. I just tried to make an instrument track with a 'drum mapped' midi track and it actually worked. First time ever for me. I guess I should have tried it one more time before I posted. But it never used to work. Honest.

 

 

Edited by Sailor55
updated info and typo

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20 minutes ago, Sailor55 said:

Once you assign a midi track to a drum amp you can't make a single drum "instrument track" linked with the drum audio track. It was always that way in SONAR and still is in Cakewalk.

In order to make an existing audio+MIDI track pair into an instrument track when the MIDI track has a drum map:

  1. remove the drum map, typically by pointing the MIDI track to the synth
  2. make the instrument track
  3. open the MIDI tab for the instrument track in the Inspector (in the video below, I had to change focus from and back to the instrument track to repaint the inspector)
  4. re-add the drum map

aUFuxlX.gif

 

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